If you haven't booked a Thanksgiving flight yet, don't expect to get a good deal. At least remember this and apply it for a next year.
A new tool from Google called Travel Trends analyzes airfare data to help determine, on average, the cheapest time to buy a plane ticket during the holidays: Thanksgiving, December holidays and New year.
Introducing Google Trips by Google
Travel Trends will show you that the cheapest time to buy a Thanksgiving ticket is 90-70 days before departure. Use this useful tool to decide when to buy a plane ticket for any holiday travel. If you need to travel the world during this period, then Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year for an inexpensive trip abroad.
Even in this crazy holiday season, your home airport won't be packed every day.
The TSA suggests that the Wednesday before thanksgiving (November 27) and Sunday (December 1) after are the busiest days of the year. The TSA plans to screen between 2.7 and 2.8 million passengers at airports nationwide on each of these days.
If you want to avoid long lines and crowds, plan accordingly.
The main drawback of air travel is an early arrival at the airport. During the holidays, the situation only gets worse.
Lines to check things out during Thanksgiving are getting longer than ever. But the waiting time can be reduced if you take only hand luggage. Many experts recommend traveling only with hand luggage, regardless of the time of year. It's cheaper, faster and frees you from the mental weight of tracking more stuff - or the possibility of losing luggage.
Plan yourself more time at the airport this holiday season. To be safe, add at least 30-45 minutes to your normal airport work.
Want to know what awaits you at the TSA checkpoint? Download the MyTSA app to determine waiting times at your airport.
A couple of trusted traveler programs can help you skip the lines at security. The first and most popular option is TSA PreCheck, a government security program that will take you to a short dedicated queue at the airport. You can wear shoes, a belt and a light jacket. No need to take your laptop or hand liquids out of your bag.
PreCheck costs $ 85 for a five-year membership. And, better yet, you get PreCheck with Global Entry, a travel program that will help you get through immigration faster on your return to the United States. At $100 for five years of both programs, Global Entry becomes an easy task.
How to Get TSA Precheck (in 4 Steps) byTravelTipsbyLaurie
Even better: you can get it for free. Some credit cards cover the fee for Global Entry or PreCheck.
Another option is CLEAR, an independent program for trusted travelers that includes both fingerprints and retinal scans. You can check in online and complete your airport membership.
CLEAR is not available everywhere: it currently operates in several dozen airports and has several professional sports stadiums. Miami airport has 2 CLEAR stations and Fort Lauderdale airport has 1 station.
TSA Precheck VIP by TSA
The lounge is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the airport and relax a bit.
At a minimum, you'll get free drinks and snacks, a place to recharge your devices, and much better seatings than the hard chairs at your gate. In major centers and abroad you can find a full buffet, a La carte dining room, showers and even private bedrooms.
Check out the Loungebuddy app or Sleeping in Airports website to see what lounges are available at any airport. Both tools will also tell you if you can buy a one-day pass to the lounge.
But a few credit cards will allow you free access to more than 1,000 lounges around the world. One of the world's favorites is the platinum card from American Express, which opens more lounge doors than any other credit card.
Another option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which is our # 1 travel rewards card. It offers free priority pass membership, a huge chain of lounges and several restaurants at the airport.
If you plan your vacation correctly and in advance, and following these tips, then you will spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, not at the airport.